Our story begins back in 1973, when my parents purchased property in this beautiful part of Central Florida. With it’s majestic old oaks hanging with Spanish Moss, it truly seemed like a vision from the Old South. The remoteness, allowed us to grow up identifying the local flora and fauna, with help from a wonderful 4-H program in Marion County. With relatively few neighbors and distractions, we developed the ability to experience nature and build confidence and skills for an independent future.
Initially, my parents worked on building their farm house and my sister and I took care of all our farm chores, while watching out for our younger brother. Next of course, the family started gardening and raising animals. First came rabbits, then a dairy calf, and before we knew it, we were milking five 4-H animals. Only those with a poor grip on reality would assume that building a dairy would be a next logical step, but lo and behold, that was what came next, after about 7 years getting established in this spot.
My parents went from milking 40 animals to eventually over 800. After leaving the area for many years to attend college out west at Washington State University, my wife and I decided to relocate back to Florida to live the farm life, raise a family, and help run this farm. After many more years of running the dairy farm, we decided that there must be a better way to utilize the land and reduce the incredible 24/7 workload. I am sure you all are aware… dairy cows take no holidays.
This is when we decided “let’s get back to basics!’ We realized that our climate and land allowed us to grow grass almost the full year. Why not raise cattle solely on grass and let them thrive as they were meant to be. It was fortunate that we were able to work with our Alma Mater, Washington State University and a top Wagyu breeder from the Northwest, Gerry Pittenger. These contacts enabled us to put together an outstanding beginning herd of 55 animals, who were glad to come to Florida during a very cold February in 2008.
With a tremendous amount of work on the part of the whole family, we have grown to be a sustainable farm raising grass-fed cattle and free-range chickens and turkeys. Along the way, we have developed an exceptional group of LOYAL customers who make us feel that our daily efforts are extremely rewarding.
Since beginning this endeavor, my parents have retired to live the good life in California. Our own children have grown and now take part in running our family farm.
Torm and Lauri Siverson
The Farmer & The Chef…Torm and his brother showing off our pork @ James Beard Dinner in NYC.